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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

UPCAST, v., n. Also -kast. Ppl.adj. weak upcastit (Gsw. 1873 A. G. Murdoch Doric Lyre 101), strong upcasten (Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes 46), thrown up, uplifted. Sc. usages. [n. ′ʌpkɑst; v. ʌp′kɑst]

I. v. 1. To taunt, reproach, bring up against one, cast in one's teeth, allege as a fault (Cld. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 204; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., n.Sc., Lnl., wm.Sc. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial. See Cast, B. II. 8. (1). Vbl.n. upcasting, taunting, upbraiding.Uls. 1840 Shandy Mag. 50:
It's well worth yer while to upcast that.
Sc. 1850 J. S. Blackie Æschylus II. 186:
He whips with keen reproaches, and upcasts With bitter taunts his evil-omened name.
Sc. c.1850 R. Ford Vagabond Songs (1904) 244:
I hope none will upcast to you the race that I have run.
Abd. 1902 Weekly Free Press (21 June):
He could not have sat supine under more of that hard, youthful ‘up-casting'.

2. Of clouds: to gather (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 204). See Cast, II. 8. (3) (b). Vbl.n. upcasting, a gathering of clouds, a cloud formation (Sh., ne.Sc. 1973). Freq. used coll.Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 185:
Nae cloud owr-head the lift did dim. But i' the wastern weddir-glim A black up-castin'.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 1:
Awyte it his a' the appearance o' a storm. There's been a lot o' up-castin'.
Abd. 1950 Huntly Express (17 Feb.):
Storm clouds appear — upcastin's as local people say.

3. To calculate, reckon, estimate. Vbl.n. upcasting, calculating.Sc. 1705 Dialogue between a County-Man and a Landwart School-Master 16:
I cannot think but you have cast it wrong up Domine, for I believe there is not as much Money in al the World. . . . I'll answer for the up casting of it.
Rnf. 1862 A. M'Gilvray Poems 12:
To an hour she could upcast How long a ton of coals should last.

II. n. 1. A taunt, reproach, a ground or occasion for criticism (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., n.Sc., Fif., Lnk. 1973). Also in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1715 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) II. 300:
I find it an up-cast upon the Church of Scotland.
Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Tales II. 249:
If I thought living soul would ever make the start I gie'd an upcast to me, I'd drill his breast-bane.
Sc. 1863 J. L. Watson By-gone Days 124:
If she will only come back again, she will never get an upcast frae me nor mine.
Lnk. 1895 W. C. Fraser Whaups xiii.:
I'm sair mista'en if it'll no be an upcast to me as lang as I leeve.
Abd. 1900 Weekly Free Press (20 Oct.):
There's been nae wrang seen, an' there'll be nae up-cast till then.
Sh. 1972 New Shetlander No. 100. 26:
Dis sair plycht du man last Less as a dacent life. Whit's dy upkast?

2. An upset, state of being overturned (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1973).Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. xxviii.:
What wi' the upcast and terror . . . my head is sair eneugh distressed.

3. A temporary improvement in weather, as between showers (Cai. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.).

4. Soil thrown up in digging or ploughing a furrow. Rare in Eng.Dmf. 1718 Mr. Taylor's Case Stated 28:
An upcast ofthe Pleugh where he went over the Marches of the Glieb is visible.

5. Mining: (1) a fault or dislocation in a seam of coal which has forced it in an upward direction. Now in Eng. geol. usage.Sc. 1793 Earl of Dundonald Descr. Culross 31:
The Proprietors found their Coals thrown up to the north, by an up-cast.
Sc. 1839 R. Murchison Silurian Syst. I. 510:
The upcasts of the various coalflelds.

(2) the air-shaft by which the ventilating current returns to the surface (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 69). Also in n. Eng. mining usage. Also attrib.Sc. 1839 A. Ure Dict. Arts 971, 987:
Pit of ventilation or upcast for the smoke. . . . The air of the upcast pit being rarefied by the heat.
Lnk. 1864 A. Miller Coatbridge 169:
The air is conveyed round the whole of the workings, and guided by air courses to the upcast.
Lnk. 1885 F. Gordon Pyotshaw 222:
Nummer Twa's the cauldest pit o' the twa, an', consequently, Nummer One wad be the upcast ane if ye mak' a connection atween them.

[O.Sc. upcast, = II. 4., 1566, = II. 1., 1609.]

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"Upcast v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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